Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell has filed as a candidate for King County prosecutor, according to the state’s Public Disclosure Commission (PDC).
Ferrell, who was re-elected as mayor in 2021, filed registration on Jan. 7 — the same day King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg announced he is not seeking re-election at the end of this year.
“I have serious concerns about safety in this region and I think I can not only help make Federal Way safer, but the entire region,” Ferrell said. “That’s why I’m considering it.”
Though he has not officially announced his candidacy, an announcement may come “soon,” Ferrell told the Mirror during a Jan. 7 phone call.
Ferrell did not list any political party affiliation for his registration.
Prior to becoming Federal Way mayor, Ferrell served for 16 years as a King County senior deputy prosecuting attorney. He was head of the domestic violence court unit and served as the president of the Deputy Prosecuting Attorney’s Association for two terms.
Ferrell said his legal background and his eight years as mayor give him “a good perspective on what King County communities are facing with regard to public safety.”
In Nov. 2021, Ferrell was elected by voters to his third term as Federal Way mayor. When asked if he felt it was fair to the residents of Federal Way to seek another office after his recent re-election as mayor, Ferrell said he believes the community understands the local and regional opportunity.
“I do,” he said, adding that if he runs for the position, he would continue serving as mayor through the year. “I think people would understand based on the circumstances and the opportunity and my unique experience.”
“My focus has been exclusively on making sure that Federal Way has been well-served and it has been the honor of my life to be the elected mayor of Federal Way.”
Public safety and crime reduction have been topics of his recent actions, including banding together with local cities to mitigate crime in the South King County area.
Ferrell has also spoken out about the county’s Restorative Community Pathways (RCP) program. The King County Prosecutor’s Office implemented the diversion program in November 2021 for juveniles who enter the criminal justice system.
At the Jan. 4 Federal Way City Council meeting, Ferrell put forth a resolution for the council to vote on about requesting the county to pause the RCP program. Ultimately, the item was tabled until early February so the council could have a chance to learn more about the program and its impact on the community.
Restorative justice and holding people accountable require balance, Ferrell said.
“You can’t have one without the other,” he said. “Justice has to be the driver.”
Satterberg’s retirement was announced on Jan. 7 in a video message. He is not seeking re-election as a prosecutor after 15 years in the role and said his final day in office is Dec. 31, 2022. He was appointed as interim prosecuting attorney in 2007 after the sudden death of late Prosecuting Attorney Norm Maleng. He then was re-elected to the position in 2010, 2014 and 2018.